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Melissa Powell

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I have often wondered if I may have been partly responsible for the now traditional photo of the MLC Year 12s throwing their hats into the air at the end of the year.

In 1978, MLC decided to abolish the school hat. I wrote an article for The Collegian about it and we took a photo of my Year 12 friends and me on the steps of the Gertrude Walton building throwing our hats into the air. It was reproduced a number of times over the years.

After leaving school I began studying law at the University of Western Australia. I became involved in Uni Camp for Kids and found working with children so fulfilling that I became a teacher.

From 1989 to 1994 I taught at MLC. Myrlwynn Sonntag (Head of English Department) was instrumental in creating a new position especially for me – Head of English, Years 11/12.

Doug Swingler (Dean of Studies) taught me about timetabling and other administrative issues.

While at MLC, I completed my master’s degree in Education and my thesis was an analysis of the pastoral care programme at MLC.

As a result the pastoral programme was changed and the new tutorial system was introduced.

For my thesis I was awarded the Western Australian Institute of Educational Administration Prize as well as the Heather Barr Memorial Medal.

I left MLC for Penrhos College where I helped establish the first middle school in an independent school in Western Australia.

I am currently Principal of the International School of Western Australia in City Beach, a Pre-Primary to Year 12 co-educational school for Australian and international students.

ISWA runs on a northern hemisphere academic calendar and caters primarily for expatriate families.

We have students from over 58 different nationalities and the majority of parents are in the mining/gas industry.

At MLC we felt the teachers believed in us and we mattered, and I have endeavoured to treat my students the same way.

On MLC: I was proud to represent MLC on the television program It’s Academic. Everyone at school was very excited. Jeff Newman was the host – everyone will remember the saying, “Yes please, Mr Newman!” We finished second to Churchlands. On the day that it aired, my friends held a surprise party. Mum took photos of us on the TV but the screen came out blank!

Category

Voices

Date

22 October 2015

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